Yesterday my friends and I went downtown and visited the historic District 6 Museum. District 6 is located in the heart of Cape Town, very close to the Castle of Good Hope and South Africa’s Parliament.
District 6 was established as a vibrant mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants of all races and religions. However, this unique district threatened the apartheid regime, (because it proved that people of different races could live together peacefully) and it was ultimately deemed as a Whites Only Area in 1966. Before that time, blacks had already been forcibly removed (under the pretext of the Bubonic plague). Even legally married couples from two different races were forced to move to separate camps. Whites in control of the area claimed that Cape Town needed to create more of a city centre and grid-like European system and District 6 was in the way. All of the non-whites in District 6 had no choice but to leave, and their homes were bulldozed to the ground.
The District Six Museum was opened 1994 and serves as a memorial to all of those who were forced to leave. The museum incorporates lots of personal stories, art, and artifacts from those who used to live there.
Above: Standing on a map of what District 6 used to look like.
Side Note: The majority of coloured people who were forced out of District 6 moved to Ocean View, which is where I will be spending the weekend in a local family’s home next week.